Friday, 30 December 2011

...IT STARTED AS A THOUGHT; NOW A BELIEVE The story of Campus Glitz Magazine in One Year as Narrated by the Raconteur


In a world like ours, education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. That’s why we have beaten our chest to give y’al (at least we are now in campuses across Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. And if you haven’t seen us yet, no wahala, because the train is not stopping until we have touched every campus in Africa and beyond) a magazine with the aim to avoid blanket reportage of campus issues.

If you have come across September/October 2011 edition of Campus Glitz Magazine, our editorial headline was coined as this: “LET’S TODDLE THROUGH THIS SEMESTER IN BLISS.”  we didn’t waste much time bringing to the notice of the world that we are ONE, thus I thought of what will I write to really show all my readers (JHS, SHS, College of Education friends, Polytechnics friends, University friends, youths across the globe, I almost forgot my big uncles and aunties), that I care. We started the page like this:
Hello FRIENDS,
It is of my warmest zest I write to y’al once again... LoL, sounds like a love letter.
In my entire years of doing youth publications, I have never been as happy as this moment, taking time to scribble to you, you and you. The simple truth is because we are all alive to witness the progression of that bold step which we took some twelve months ago. Hurray, we are ONE! We appreciate all your prayers, support, encouragement and cuddling smiles.”
We’re very good at drawing friends and foes together so we guessed again that we reminded these friends of how ‘crazy’ we could be not minding our post in the society, as if anybody cares, not funny though; we actually felt like reminding them all of how we would party hard, so we went on with our sweet talks;
Few months ago it did start as a conception and today, this is where we have gotten thus far. You have been behind us throughout the turbulent days and we sincerely value all those who have come through thin and thick with us. As much as I love telling the next person in another school (be it far or near) about the fun and excitement in your own school, I shall not relent in that evangelism this academic year. Last semester was full of gyration and personally, I love to gyrate as long as it doesn’t hurt. This academic year will surly continue and believe me that I got my dancing shoes ready to rumble.”
We aren’t preachers but we quickly pushed on letting them know that, “… the first two quarters of the year is gone and yet we still have a more prevailing grace to continue with our life, enjoying our swag and dancing our way through stardom like nobody’s business. For the past months of our coming into your lives, we can boldly say that we have touched some lives if not all. We have tried in our possible best to make sure that we cut across all nooks and crannies though we still have more to do. Through the grace of God, we shall never come less than what y’al expect. We believe that this new semester will provide positive recounts and at the end, just as it is at the Bernabeu, ‘impossibility is nothing.’ This edition promises to be another buzzing -keep for a life time- piece. It will make all the girls go gaga and the guys go gugu ‘cos we charily killed it off as Tsutsu eating his fufu.”

Just as every daydream twitches from a mere conception, this’ the story of how what now is Ghana’s Hottest Youth Magazine kicked its butt started. After about one full year of study into the Ghanaian market just to see what it was like to kick what will later gain much competition because as of the time before our coming, not many publications on youth issues were rampant.

We have come this near to all where we saw in that first tinny dream, though it looked blurring but today this is our story of fervency, hope and believe. The journey so far as been somewhat rough, smooth, rough and back to smooth; well what do you expect from a tot trying to gain its first step by being that ‘aggressive’? We have stepped on so many toes, we have eyed so many people, we have come face to face with humiliation, backstabbing, nagging, discouragement, deceit and lies on this short journey, na wa ooo. We have never allowed all those to set us back rather all these have sharpened us to this level we have gotten. Dis journey never even start sef. We have also been stood by, encouraged, assisted and taught what it means to grow from a boy to being a man, no be joke, no be small thing. Our appreciation will never be complete if we don’t call names, besides se police go catch us sey we say, ‘ooooose’ ni!?!

The roll call train will start first to all our advertisers who have associated with us, to those who have deemed it fit to take us as their own. I will beseech to call few names of those we hold high honor; to Joshua Bolatito Olalere & Tope Aileru – they were there and are still here. They have supported this whole vision from the word Jack. Their resources and time can’t be equated to those guidelines we got – in our world; they are ‘special.’ They did what a father will always do to a growing child and that’s give necessary assistance, they did it from thence and are still here for us. Kehinde Adegbola Moruff (who we fondly call ‘Sir K’) has never relented in the dream. He has and still is there as the rock of Gibraltar seeing to it that no plummeting takes place. Na mister nice guy be it in rain or sun. Who will say that the saying ‘friends for life’ isn’t true? Chinika Iwuoha has shown that that phrase is for real. Get close to him and you will hear this, ‘let’s make it happen’, sure we have made this happen through that grace from above. This is a young man who we can’t stop calling his name ‘Cookey’, nothing less than hundred times in a day, so you see what we’re talking about? To Anayo and Don (No Wahala), our moral supporters we cannot but tell the world of their benefits. To Kol-Tek, Mawuena Make Over, Manuel photos, Fabiana photos in the UK and all those who understand that this journey no be one man thing. We cannot finish the script of appreciation without mentioning one certain ‘fair guy’ whose artistic cranium beats our wits. He is a whizz kid. He is part of the family tree. His name is simple. Laak. As we read, we shall keep appreciating all those who have held our hands and showing the beauties of life. Those who have gamboled with us.

When putting this together, we were asked ‘why all this appreciation?’ We responded that paying obeisance to those who truly deserve it is paramount in our tradition - it’s our culture.

Within our first twelve months, we have derelict our rivals, skeptics and yet we will never refuse to be put on the ground, amidst all this, we have also come in contact with new families in the industry, be they budding or seasoned, we have had to do one or two stuffs with Event EXP (we did partnered in the concept 100° Exposure Party at the Cinderella Night Club, the Reloaded version of the same 100° that was a blast at the Boomerang Night Club! We cannot sigh at the mind blowing event we held at the Aphrodisiac Night Club – Popping Champagne event), Optimum Innovations (we cannot forget in a jiffy how the whole Tema metropolis stood agog for what will go down history lane as the Yes We Can concept), Bismarck & Alhassan concepts, Pebble Kubes, and many others that we have given our little ideas on this and that.

We also in our own aptitude have put out events which we have received pats on our backs and this have manifested into firm relationship which we are still benefiting from:
A TIP OF LOVE came on the 14th of February which is a day slated for lovers all over the world, we respected it and yet turned our antenna towards the Osu Children’s Home. This is an Orphanage crossed as ‘dadabi orphanage’, yet we never saw them as that notion, we held an event that drew all the over 300 friends with guardians and teachers alike. We had that full fledge support from Sun Ripe fruit drink and Macedonia never relaxed in preparing all our meals from start to finish. Two months later we decided to put that long idea – FASHION NIGHT OUT, GHANA – into action. It was truly of night we were humbled by the attendance from the fans we never knew they were following. With over forty-five models who graced the run way, with over ten designers from Ghana (Kholyns Contemporary Collections, Dreams by Nana, Zedi & Kross, Original Couture, House of Eccentric, Klekleli, Chapter One, Afri-Ken Novelty among others) and Nigeria (Ambassador Kouture + Ejiro Amos Tafiri). We had a guest list of dignitaries with Kofi Ansah and Allan David all inclusive. It was a night of bliss from our judgment. It was night of encouragement from their judgment. And in totality, it was a night worth being part of. Special thanks to the Temple Social Centre (where we groomed all our models), to Salbani Art World (those guys are something else when runways are mentioned) and Karma Conference Centre (where the night was turned into day of screaming aloud at every swag and gait that strolled past the red carpet).

Now to the next point of call in our activity outline, is the baby we have nurtured thus far – the magazine. We have had different faces graced the cover page from Meg of Accra Poly to Rita of MSO, to Queen of Zenith University, to Maame of Legon and many more who have gone and the lots yet to come. When we are always asked on our choice of using mostly females on our cover pages, the answer is rhetorically simple, ‘se no be ladies dey rule dis world?’ LoL.
Now case open on the associates of the associates we have had to feature in the magazine they have acclaimed as the hottest youth magazine in Ghana campuses; from Zenith University College, UDS, Tamale Campus, UDS, WA Campus, Kumasi Polytechnic, KNUST, University of Ghana, Legon, Methodist University, Valley View University, Pan African University, Winneba, Ghana Telecom University, Cape Coast University, Institute of Professional Studies, Winneba College of Education, Takoradi Polytechnic, Regent University, Wisconsin University College, All Nations University, Koforidua, Winneba University, Catholic University, Suyani, Data Link University, Tema, Knustford, Central University, Jayee University, Accra Poly, University of Ghana Medical School, Sikkim Manipal University, Uni. of Edu. Mampong, Ho Polytechnic, many schools and friends of friends are outta there which we have not forgotten. We wouldn’t have gained access effectively into all these arenas without the supports of all our correspondents thrown wide open in all campuses. We must recount that we almost went blipping but we stood the tides of time. The storm at a point in time almost shook us off our feet but as battle men, we stood and never blinked. Thanks to the abundant grace from the Creator of the Universe. We still dey kampe.

Fast forward your mind to our present state of being, where we are now. We are now being published under a new family, a force to surmise, West Coast Entertainment Ghana Ltd. We have gathered and learnt the rudiments of success and thus we cannot but have new friends, enemies here and there but shall we remain where we are presently? The sky is and has always been the starting point but from our dictionary, cloud nine is the starter. We want to say God has been great and He shall grease that fighting spirit and push us thus further. We are ONE, yes but shall we be like this next additional year to come? Certainly if you know us, you will know that we have more than enough in our bowels to turn poignant atmosphere to bliss. Sure with your push and our guts, the future is certainly positive.

Even though the publishing world is swamped with all sorts of youth publications we pledge to bring education cum entertainment into one fold, edutainment.
Our Pledge:
We pledge to educate as well as entertain you.
We pledge of inspiring rather than imposing.
We pledge of advising rather than dictating.
We pledge of touching lives through love.
We pledge of portraying our abundant youthful values rather than cheapen it.
  

WHEN A RAPPER GOES ‘HOLIC’ ON A SUNDAY 25TH NIGHT


Even if you are a new born baby in Ghana today, there is one name that you will not be that hard to pronounce. A name that isn’t just a household one anymore but a worldwide status. Love or hate it, that name is the that of a young man who worked out his sleeves in the hot temperature sun of Tema – a hood blessed with lyricists ranging from the old drained down the young which SARKODIE belongs to. Growing up with age still on his side for now where he is the current best in Ghana, doubt me if you like but I don talk am; this dude is just a churner of lyrics.
When I first got the mail in my inbox that I was going to be at the Press Conference where he was going to tell the world of his intention to murder his fans with his old and new songs, I simply smiled and said, ‘apa yan’ (literary meaning ‘killer’, in the Yoruba dialect of Nigeria); why not if he isn’t ready to send his lovers to another world at the sound of his voice. In case you haven’t heard him sing before, then you may probably not understand me but we need not see what Hitler did before we believe that he terrorized his people.
I got ready for that day and sure it did come and who was on the podium to speak with us, the man who I have wanted to ask where he gets his inspiration to rattle like no man’s business and am sure if you were there on that day you will have asked dandiest questions than mine. You need to see him face to face to understand that when he kicks his butt at the start of a clock, his lips spins as the clock ticks, no be lie jooor. At the press conference that day, I was convinced that come 25th December, ampai a, ebe juwaa (positive result is certain).
Enter the d-day:
The Dome was the venue and the start up time was anything from 9pm Ghana time, so wherever you following this, imagine your own time equivalence, LoL. I got there earlier and not because I wanted to see anything new but because I wanted to understand the true love Ghanaians have for their stars, and they did show it as the lines to get inside was so long that I felt wahala go happen if tickets went out of sales, but this is Africa na. My urge pushed me to meet the organizers to allow me see the list of songs that the bearded boy will be doing and with my mouth left agape, I saw that the list was so loaded that I had pity on the lad who may collapse on stage after the hectic night but for where, not with that boy who can do more that 16 bars without any blip. He is a roaring lion and that’s a gift, if you no agree, then go hug transformer na; here were the songs he performed that night on a day our baby Jesus was born: Onyame Nhyira, Borga, Swagger, Begye Me with Kwabena Kwabena, In Love With You with Efya, U Go Kill Me, Baby with Mugeez, Lay Away with Jayso, Sweetio featuing Raquel, Sherifa with Sherifatu Gunu, Ajiee with Paedae, Mugeez and Nana Boroo.
Kick off time was drawing nigh and time check; it was 10:30pm. The lights finally came down and at the sound of the DJ for the night, DJ Nii Ayi Tagoe, everyone including me had no choice to accept the fact that Babylon was coming down. This was it!
If you think that this was Sarkodie’s first time of putting out his best at the Dome, then have a rethink because he is a familiar face on that stage but the difference for the night was that it was his own show and who no go give him best to prepare him own mama food? But before the man of the night came out, performances needed to be on to set the stage red hot for the Obidiponbidi, so came AJ Nelson, Cartoon, FBS, Eduwoji, Bandana, FOI, Joey B, 2 Toff, Ruff-N-Smooth, Trigmatic, Guru, Kwaw Kese, VIP, Edem, Tinny, Stonebwoy and Gasmilla, all with energetic performances but one moment of silence from SARKODIE broke the crowd’s want with a yeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Finally the hour had come and before I could call ‘Jack’, all we saw were motor bikes and I wondered they drove these all the way from their base, Tema? If he stole the show? Wait for me to confront you with the details: he started the night without dancers, without anyone to assist him yet his performance was second to none. His lines were tempting and they all had head and tail all combined. His ability to sweep the audience’s feet off the ground simply interpreted what ‘kinda business he was ready for. At a point in time, not to look as if it was a one man’s show, a band was introduced and come and see something, Sarkodie wan kill the babes ooo, the Ohia Y3 Yaa Band led by Kwame Yeboah gave the furrows a good stuff is made off.
With that kind of energy that took over that boy, he performed for over 2 hours and at a point in time, he was seen as rear to go with more but body no be firewood, he was amazing and I doff my hat for him.
Among the roll call of celebrities that came to the Dome to be initiated by the new Azonto tune, ‘Dangerous’ which featured EL, were Stephen Appiah, Sulley Muntari, John Painstil, Kwaisey P, KKD, Delay and Nana Ama McBrown. Just like in the man – Sarkodie’s words ‘I want people to get what they paid for’, he gave them over what they bargained for.
The night wouldn’t have been possible without the full supports of everyone at Event Factory and Duncwills Entertainment with support from rLG.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

…AND THE AWARD GOES TO (YemmeY's view on the 2011 Ghana Movie Awards)


Don’t ask me what the Ghanaian movie industry is called. The USA is Hollywood, abi? Nigeria is Nollywood, abi? India is Bollywood, abi? I have lived and worked in Ghana for a while now and yet I am still confused on the name the movie industry is being called. Either Ghollywood or Ghallywood or Goldenwood, the names will change nothing even if it is Ghanawood
When the nominations first came out, I was particularly wondering who will win what and then I had one other eye on the organization. If I am to candidly give any pass mark, I will give the organizers an average pass that’s depending on what your own pass mark will be though. Funny bits ran through that night most especially with the loud notice that all Press men and ladies MUST be in suit and the color was a specific black color, even if you are like me with a phobia for that color. But how we go do am.
I did comply for one reason and don’t ask me because my answer may be ridiculous to you even if it makes sense to me. Almost all the movie players from the gaffer to the producer where all present, surprises went high in the air and belief me that some winners were just well deserved but with some, me I get wahala with dem ooo.
That night after the whole party of glamorous flexing sisters and bright chilling brothers, someone asked me that. ‘YemmeY did Kimberly Elise and Majid Michel deserves the Best Actress and Actor of the Year respectively?’ Whatever the answer I would give to that person will certainly not change the fact that they both have worked hard to win this. E no easy na. My lens did pick out some Nollywood (Segun Arinze, Ramsey Nouah, Desmond Elliot, Olu Jacobs, and Joke Silva) stars and movie makers from all over the globe paid homage to ‘motherland’, Ghana.
When I first did the story on the Azonto dance, many felt I had arrived with my usual tricks of promotion but as a seer, I knew that it will go far and guess what; it was the official dance for the night. That night saw humorous give and take speeches with some emotionally captivated. I am not on this part to criticize any artiste that performed on that night but apart from Mzbel who did what a ‘matured artiste’ should do, the likes of Nana Boro and RnM should get back to their drawing board and take some lessons. In totality, they did well. Let me not dampen your reading spirit with my gist but get elated with the news that Nollywood veteran, Olu Jacobs won a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the growth of Nollywood. He was accompanied by his wife and fellow actress, Joke Silva.
To business proper, you must know that Leila Djansi stole the night with her car boot full to the brim with 9 awards including the Best Actress in a Leading Role (English) for Hollywood sweetheart, Kimberly Elise. Her latest production paid off with ‘Ties That Bind’, getting the bragging rights. Certainly just as our elders do say that a child that knows how to wash his hands well with dine with the elders, na so this babe take Best Editing (English), Best Directing (English), Best Art Direction, Best Sound Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Movie African Collaboration, and Best Picture go house ooo.
On a night that I felt that Mr. Adams will resurrect to help his Apples win more awards, it didn’t go that entire well for them as Shirley Frimpong-Manso’s 10 chapter movie series went home with just 5 awards including Best Story, Best Screenplay, and Best Make-up.
Whatever made the organizers split 14 awards between 2 producers in the land must mean that others be yaawaa! Even if my statement is held against me, then the jury must be ready to answer me certain questions including, ‘where were the rest when these 2 women were burning candles doing their home work to put Ghana movie in the lime light’. Case close jooor!
Before I close this chapter, I must scribble those who smiled home happily deserving the awards and those who were forced to have a take home package to save someone some embarrassment.
The full list of the winners at the 2011 Ghana movie Awards:

Best Actor in a Leading Role (English Language)
Majid Michel            Somewhere In Africa

Best Actress in a Leading Role (English Language)
Kimberly Elise           Ties That Bind
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (English Language)
Majid Michel            Somewhere In Africa
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (English Language)
Nadia Buari               Who Owns the City
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Local Language)
Agya Koo                   Agenkwah
Best Actress in a Leading Role (Local Language)
Vivian Jill                   Yaw Donkor
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Local Language])
Joseph Osei               Osofo Amoako
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Local Language)
Rose Mensah            Bu Bra Pa
Best Picture
Ties That Bind
Best Directing (English Language)
Leila Djansi & Kevin Huie                 Ties That Bind
Best Directing (Local Language)
Augustine ‘Idikoko’ Abbey                 Agya Koo Gbengbentus
Best Art Direction
Ties That Bind
Best Music (Original Song)
Agya Koo Gbengbentus                     Mframa

Best Movie Africa Collaboration
Ties That Bind
Best Cameo Actor
Kofi Adjorlolo           Somewhere In Africa
Best Cameo Actress
Grace Nortey            Adams Apple
Best Story
Adams Apple
Best Editing
Ties That Bind
Best Cinematography
Ties That Bind
Best Costume & Wardrobe
Samira Yakubu                      Queens Pride
Best Make-Up
Adams Apple
Best Visual Effects
Grave Yard
Best Discovery
Kwaku Manu             So, So & So
Best Music (Original Score)
Adams Apple
Best Sound Editing & Mixing
Ties That Bind
Best Writing Adapted or Original Screenplay
Adams Apple
Best Actor Africa Collaboration
Ramsey Nouah Jnr.               Memories of My Heart
Best Actress Africa Collaboration
Omotola Jalade                     Ties That Bind
Favorite Actress, TV
Auntie B in ‘Efiewura’
Favorite Actor, TV
Funnyface Benson in ‘Chorkor Trotro’
Favorite TV Series
Chorkor Trotro
Favorite Actress, Movie
Martha Ankomah
Favorite Actor, Movie
Prince David Osei
Lifetime Achievement Award
Olu Jacobs

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

APRIL FOOLS VIGIL IN JANUARY

Krinnnnnnnnnn…Krinnnnnnnnnnn… That was my cell phone ringing; perhaps I must use the right word to describe an annoying call which came in the wee hours of 2.07am on the 18th of January, 2010. What was it about, something special or should I say something provocative, it was a call from Maame Efua, she yearned hastily as if she was running a hundred metre race, ‘Yemmey, quickly leave your room and stand outside. They said an earthquake will occur soonest. I love you. Bye.’ She had hung the call before I could even blink and reciprocate. The only thing I quickly did at a short notice was to hop from my bed, jump into my shorts and ran outside. You may smile asking, ‘why did you run outside?’ to either save my life or avoid the ‘had I known’, last message. But on a second thought, how about those who did not give a hoot at the ‘announcement’? Like my bosoms for real, Shadrach Meshach, and you hoping to hear Abednego? No lie. Then I whisked again to take the first option and boy-oh-boy what I saw was a throng who have gathered outside our compound to circumvent death. I smiled and went back indoors ruminating over my own stupidity of running outside when I know fully well that death can come to one no matter the location. Casualties do take place irrespective of a million and one caution. Now think with me on this; the ground we all ran to outside our rooms, wasn’t it a very suitable location for the quake to consume us all in bunch? What even pissed me off was that we copy almost everything we see others do without a re-think. Because thousands Haitians gathered in open spaces overnight in the capital because they were scared to sleep inside damaged buildings. Ghanaians also decided to leave their abode even when it was a rumor; they decided to troop outside and stay overnight until morning. The only difference between the Haitians and Ghanaians was that the Haitians sang hymns to keep up their spirits while an average Ghanaian was so scared to even open his mouth and utter a word of praise, rather they busy murmuring and gossiping on issues irrelevant to their sleepless status at that point in time. 

Funny enough, I wasn’t the only one who had such a phone call, almost all the inhabitants in Ghana got such either from a distant friend or from a closer foe, calls sure did come. My neighbor had woken all his five children to stand outside by the road side all in their pajamas. One wonders what will drive a hefty man with his beautiful wife and children to stand still all keeping vigil. My cousin was cooling off at a night club with his new ‘catch’ in town. One wonders what will have been his fate with his new girlfriend had the rumor mongers succeeded. Funny it sounds but my dear strange things happen each day and this wouldn’t have been an exception. Claris who has never misses her bed time once it is 9.30pm, no matter where she is or she is doing, kept the ‘vigil’ till morning. Amazing, right? I tried calling my pastor for divine prayers ahead of the mass death, but he wouldn’t picked his calls and the next thing I knew was that his phone had gone off either deliberately or otherwise. Another sick thing that sickened my heart was the disadvantage a house which was robbed during the rumored earthquake and its equivalent aftermath. All tenants had run outside screaming for help from the quake which was invisible and not the visible armed robbers who squandered away with their belongings.

What breathes live into this tale to be pleasant is the fact that Haiti recently witnessed an earthquake in which the world celebrities cum world powers are still trying to put their houses in order to support the small Haitian country. Another hilarious thought is that was Ghana going to be another point where the Red Cross team will fly to, to give aid? Arcane as it may be, a top Accra based radio station lamented on the issue or need I say that they helped ignite the ‘vigil’ among innocent Ghanaians. When I heard of the pre-proposed ‘earthquake’, I quickly imagined that we may soon become like Haiti but God was on the side of Ghana. 

Let me take your mind back a bit on what happened in Haiti. An earthquake occurred with which even the President is still staggered at the exact amount of persons dead. Now for future reference, the earthquake in Haiti was about 7.0 magnitude quake. It struck at 4.53 local time, which is 9.53 GMT on 12th January, 2010, 15km south-west of Port-au-Prince. According to the earth sciences department at the United Kingdom’s Durham University’s Prof. Roger Searle, ‘the energy released from that quake was the equivalent of about half a megaton of TNT.’

Must we be tricked or fooled every time for no course? Must we be so childish in our brains not to know truth from lies? Must every fabrication be our portion served to us even at odd hours just as this day turned out to be? Where did all our faith varnish to? Where were all our men, women and children of God? Is it that we have soon forgotten our celebrations such as Christmas Day, New Year Day, Easter Day and April Fools Day? Have we soon forgotten that we are still in the month of January, so there was no need for the chicken tricks of April fool? So why did we so mess up our sleep with some kind of unscrupulous communiqué from vague source? Kuukua called me as soon as it was 5am GMT and her question sparked me a long thoughtful day, thus she asked, ‘Yemmey will God have sat up there and see Ghanaians go down like it did happened in Haiti. Then we will all have asked HIM, where have all our prayers we do have gone to?’ She went on, ‘Yemmey are you there? You see it pays to be a Christian if not the uncertain would have happened.’ I couldn’t just say anything but all I did was to sigh and tell her to call me back in thirty minutes; there and then I switched off my phone and went into a deep thinking.

I asked myself that if the rumored quake did not occur then God must be a Christian as Kuukua hunted me to understand. Then I figured it out that maybe the Haitians must all be ‘sinners’ that was why God turned his back at them? This question of Kuukua reminisced me of the discussion I had with my soul brother, Cookey on whether God was a Christian? If HE was, then why have the Pharaohs of Egypt in terms of African soccer being the only team that have won the trophy for a records six times? I quizzed because the Egyptian national team will only allow you to play in their colors if you believe in the ‘Islamic faith’. Nothing more, nothing less. Jokingly, we decided to check out the title: ‘Godstian’, and remain in that our new found faith until we get further insights into our sought of ignoramus state, if you think so. But thank God it didn’t happen if not where would you and I have been?


Back to the issue on ground, I strongly feel that there was somebody out there to tease our faith or better still I feel that there was something out there wanting to mock the reserved dignity for such a ‘peaceful’ state. On a brief thought, there must be a news house that broke such news of terrific gravity, and surely should be brought to panel on why and what led it into such a rumored state to scare the amicable masses of Ghana. It wasn’t a case study of taking a deep breathe on the ‘April Fool’ thing, because if it was, my calendar tells me that we are still in the month of January. So why the fool fooling himself or herself? Little jokes root the biggest mishap, so we beg of you, all rumors mongers to desist from your pranks for it shall only tear off our school shorts and enemies go fall.

IN 2011, BETWEEN THE AZONTO DANCE & ‘MADNESS’

When last did you visit Ghana? When last did you hear the new trend of beat cooked by any of the Producers? When last did you attend any social function or religious gathering? When last did you see papas and mamas do their old-skool gig? When last did you see lovers do the rock-n-roll steps?
My questions may seem so much driving towards a mad man who isn’t thinking straight upstairs but your thoughts will ever remain your thoughts and mine will remain mine, abi? To ease all these questions and answers, give and take scenarios, let me hit it straight, it is the new ‘madness’ in town and it is a new dance that sometimes I wonder and ponder if the real originators knew of the consequences of the invention.
What is in a dance? To me I have come across some steps which have either made me visit my doctor for days or which have made me regretted ever partaking in the ‘act of committing suicide’. I again feel and consider that dance should be whatever move one feels like taking so far as it doesn’t hurt the body, but no! What we have now are steps close to reaching heaven because even in the tabernacles of God, these steps are practiced.
When one particular step came out in the Southern part of Africa, it was just a nightmare as most people thought it was a Visa to achievement. Then a kind of new step came up in one Western part of Africa, Nigeria particularly with Yahozee (a dance which you must look towards heaven and gesture with your hands as if you are demanding for forgiveness of sin from your Creator). That dance swept even the holiest person.
I can still remember one day when a man of God proudly announced that it was ‘time to give God a Yahozee offering’, yeiiii, I murmur. Then from that same Nigeria, came Alanta, this time the dance arrived in a sequence with which you must use your two hands to pinch your chest or breast depending on where you deem fit, not forgetting that you two legs must rise at intervals, no be small thing. I may be right to conclude that this dance got one popular musician’s song banned. Am just guessing ooo.
Then recently the new rave in town has arrived and this one almost beat the rest, it is the AZONTO dance. A step that even have taken over sermons in churches. The trend is so massive that every producer is seen as lazy if he cannot pounder that beat. If you are a musician in Ghana and your tunes aren’t channeled towards what your fans want, then ‘sorry’ go be your name; AZONTO dance came to my mind when I heard one popular rapper in Ghana who can do sixteen bars without breathing, do a new tune after his awards. I felt that will be it, but this is rather it, the rave of the moment – AZONTO DANCE.
The AZONTO dance is a Ghanaian dance which involves movement of most of the joints in the body in a rhythmic fashion taking very few steps. Just like most African dances, knee bending and hip movements are rudiments to dancing it. Movement in the dance includes washing, driving, boxing, making-up et cetera. The dance evolved from the combination of a lot of local dance moves that originated from the southern-most part of Ghana during the early 2000s. It is also true that before the dance became famous, youth in senior high schools of Ghana, had a similar but different way of doing the dance. A modification of that is what we see today. It involved a similar movement of the feet, hands, and hips and at the end of every move a gun shot was mimicked with the hand and if possible the mouth. The exact origin of the dance is from Greater Accra in areas like Bukom, Chorkor, James Town, Tema and most of the coastal areas in Ghana. The dance is believed to have been taken to other parts of the capital by visitors from other part of the capital like Osu, Labadi and Dansoman who visited a popular street bar called Club House where most of the people of Bukom visit on weekends to dance to loud music. However, its popularity, both on local and international platforms has been propagated by a new wave of entertainment talents emerging in Greater Accra City of Ghana.
Everyone is dancing it; everyone is going crazy with the ticking off the clock. Now competitions are set to see who the best is. At a funeral last Saturday, I wasn’t surprised when a corpse rose and did the AZONTO dance, my friend also confirmed that in church last Sunday, a special announcement was made by a deacon in regards to the best dancer of the AZONTO dance.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7Uy81G5wfQ&feature=related

Monday, 12 December 2011

NIKKI SAMONAS OPENS UP INTO HER PRIVATE LIFE Spoke on the nudity story that made rumors in Ghana Her recent donations of over 10,000 pencils and books to school children About her dating an Abuja biggest boy Feels the organizers of Ghana Movie Awards were bias in the 2011 nomination categories She spoke on her recent modeling commercial shoots for the brand Chris Aire

Born Nikoletta Samonas, but known to all her fans as ‘Nikki’, she is becoming a fast rising actress. She had a stint with Ghana’s movie industry a few years ago after she was given a minor role by Abdul Salam in ‘Beyonce.’ By then she was at the University Of Science and Technology. Later, she played lead in AA production’s ‘Pretty Queen’. With her performance and now getting major roles in movies like War of Roses, Desperate Measures, Deadly Obsession, Pretty Queen, Wrong line and Red Label, you will be glad to know that acting was never in her plans but to become a top-notch model.
Our Ghana Correspondent caught up with Nikki and she opened up on exclusive issues that we never knew. As friendly as always, she let us into her private life and what she has been doing aside been on set. The daughter of a Greek father and a Ghanaian mother told us that she does her work passionately and she feels that the sky is just the starting point for her.
She spoke on her recent modeling commercial shoots for the brand Chris Aire. What more could be more interesting during the interview to know about what really happened during the rumors of her acting ‘nude’ in front of cameras. She also spoke on the initiative to positively affect the lives of over 10,000 school children across Ghana with her NGO (Help Them Learn). This she said is a part of her efforts to give back to the society which contributed to her successful movie career.
 
 
YOU ARE NOW BECOMING THE NEXT BIGGEST ACTRESS IN GHANA, WHAT IS THE SECRET BEHIND IT?
I must say that I depend solely on God and that has been my trust and confident. I must say that I try as much as possible to be a good manager of time and I also give listening ears to my management team and together we soar higher.
 
IN THE INDUSTRY NOW, THERE ARE LOTS OF COMPETITIONS FOR LEAD ROLES. HOW CONSISTENT HAVE YOU BEEN TO KEEP YOUR ROLES COMING TO YOU?
As I said earlier on, I just try to maintain the rhythm of togetherness among my team. I have always known that if I keep on track with my professionalism, the sky is just the starting point for me.
 
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN COMPARED TO ANY ACTRESS LOCALLY OR INTERNATIONALLY?
It is really great when I hear that people say that I look like Alicia Keys or recently that I look like Angelina Jolie, but I am just me – Nikki. I am still learning and I hope pretty soon, I shall get to the top.
 
NUDITY IS ONE FACTOR THAT IS EATING DEEP INTO THE MOVIE INDUSTRY NOW. HOW DO YOU SEE LADIES THAT GET THEMSELVES INTO THIS ACT TO GET ROLES?
I think that as matured persons, we should understand what we want and what is good for us as a people. The act of getting through something through nudity is just going to reduce one’s integrity as a lady. I feel that it isn’t right at this juncture to criticize anyone for whatever he or she feels is right with him or her.
 
THERE WERE TALKS AROUND TOWN THAT YOU WENT NUDE ON A PARTICULAR SET. HOW DID YOU TAKE THE WHOLE NEWS?
That movie was Deadly Obsession starring Jim Iyke. I didn’t go nude in the movie. Though, depending on your classification of the word ‘nude’. I am a decent young lady who will not for any amount stoop so low.
 
AMIDST YOUR FAST RISING IN THE MOVIE INDUSTRY, THE RECENT NOMINATION CATEGORIES FOR THE GHANA MOVIE AWARDS HAD YOU OMITTED. WILL YOU SAY THAT THERE WAS SOME SORT OF BIAS IN THERE?
If permitted to talk on this issue, then I will clearly say that I feel that the organizers did err a bit though. Looking at the nominations, certain persons aside from me who should be there weren’t there.
 
CAN YOU NAME SOME NAMES?
You definitely know that I am not permitted to that. I wasn’t there when the organizers thought of this and then I am just an actress doing my job, so I leave that to them to do. All I am saying is that I am fine by the whole nominations and I wish whoever win the best in all their endeavors.
 
YOU WERE NOMINATED RECENTLY IN NIGERIA BY A VERY POPULAR MEDIA HOUSE, HOW DID YOU FEEL?
The feeling is always great and I hope to win an award soonest.
 
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PRODUCING OR DIRECTING A MOVIE OF YOUR OWN SOONEST?
Why not? I think I have the vision of producing my own movies soonest but as in directing, I don’t think so. I have learnt to do what I am good at and not get into what I am going to struggle with.
 
BECOMING A STAR COMES WITH A PRICE. WHAT IS ONE MAJOR PRICE YOU HAVE HAD TO PAY?
Privacy. Sometimes you really want to go somewhere or do something but it gets harder the more you think of who you are.
 
YOU ARE INTO MODELING TOO, AND WE HEARD THAT YOU LANDED YOURSELF A FAT ONE. LET’S TALK ABOUT IT
I started modeling long time ago. I did my first major work for telecommunication giant Tigo for 2years (2007-2009). I do a lot of commercial modeling. Recently I did a job for Chris Aire, the popular jewelry brand. It was amazing and a great feeling.
 
ASIDE ACTING, MODELING, WHAT ELSE TAKES YOUR TIME?
My NGO (Help Them Learn) takes my time too. I am now on a project to donate over 10,000 books and pencils to the over 200 districts in Ghana. It is a huge project that my team and I are really working our sleeves on making sure that we achieve this soonest and then get on board another project.
 
SO HOW IS THE WHOLE PROCESS GOING NOW?
It is really great seeing beautiful kids and their aspirations too. I have a strong believe in the future of this country so my team and I have taken it a point that we shall do our best and then see where this leads us all. We are ready and for a fact the whole experience is worth it.
 
AND YOU NEW TELEVISION PROGRAM, HOW MASSIVE IS IT GETTING ITS AUDIENCE?
The African Movie Review is doing just fine. It is one show that the turn out has been tremendously fascinating. The followership is nice and we hope to give our best and make sure that the fans appreciate what they are served with.
 
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FRANK ARTHUS AND PRINCE DAVID OSEI IS VERY CORDIAL. YOU WANT TO TELL US WHAT WE DON’T KNOW?
Frank is one actor I clique with whenever I am on set with. He is very professional in his job. Prince is another great actor that I love working with. His level of professionalism has gone far and I think been on set with any of these actors gives me the knack to get better. They are professionals so it ends there.
 
WE HEAR YOU ARE INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH A VERY RICH MAN. CAN WE KNOW WHO HE IS?
My relationship is very private to me. All I can say is that he is a Nigerian and he lives in Abuja.
 
SO IN FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, WHERE DO WE SEE THE SLEEK NIKKI HEADING?
Well, I see myself going beyond where I am now. I really hope to see myself impacting the experience and exposure I have gathered in all fields to the next set of up coming actors and actresses. I wish for the success of all my endeavors.